Jun 062012

Microsoft has toyed with ways to bring IE to the Xbox for years now but always shelved the project due to control issues. It was only when they came up with the idea of SmartGlass 12 months ago – that a browser on an Xbox started to make sense.

Apple announced AirPlay in 2010 and AirPlay mirroring at WWDC last year, exactly 12 months ago today.

 Posted by at 6:32 pm
Jun 062012

Dan Frommer is a smart dude. Smart enough to leave Silicon Valley Insider before it became Business Insider. Seriously, the guy knows his stuff, which you can read on his own site, SplatF and ReadWriteWeb, where he serves as Editor at Large. He posted something on SplatF today about the peoples’ desire to see HBO Go be available as a stand-alone offering, a desire that has spawned a cottage industry of bitching about it and most recently the TakeMyMoneyHBO site.

His piece, which gives several good reasons why HBO would never consider doing something like this, lists 4 items, all of which I agree with. But it’s the first sentence of item #1 which is the reason, something that I mentioned in Part 2 of my musings about what it would take for Apple to make major headway into the television content market:

When you consider HBO parent Time Warner’s relationships with Comcast, DirecTV, Verizon, etc., it’s not just HBO GO at stake, it’s the entire company.

I don’t even think you need to read past “HBO parent Time Warner’s” to find your reason. If Time Warner wanted to offer HBO directly to consumers, I’d be hard-pressed to think that any relationship would preclude them from doing so – if these relationships didn’t include Comcast, who also happens to be a major cable provider and network owner. Time Warner doesn’t want to sell you HBO because Time Warner wouldn’t be able to sell you the basic/standard cable package that underlies it. Unbundling its own properties would lead to fewer subscribers (I’d probably be one of them). Even if it were a financial windfall, Comcast would lose subscribers too, which would lead them ice Time Warner’s networks on their platform.

This is exactly why the practice of allowing cable companies to buy networks is bullshit. Time Warner and Comcast own more than half of the stations on cable. There is precisely zero incentive for them to depreciate their properties by selling them to consumers individually. Even if people were willing to pay $50 a month for the privilege of subscribing only to HBO, it would never happen.

 Posted by at 2:33 pm
Jun 062012

I’ve bemoaned Apple’s inability to leverage the awesome HBO Go service on the AppleTV, while platforms like the XBox 360 taunt me with episodes of The Wire and Game of Thrones on demand. But at least I have my iPad app, which is something. I guess.

/kicks dirt

One platform that hasn’t been getting any love is Google’s “official” Android version for tablets like the injunction-defying Galaxy Tab 10.1. Even though Go will (finally) run on Android’s ICS, it won’t run on Android tablets. So what’s worse than having a marquee provider of content snub a major leg of your mobile device platform? Having that provider port their offerings to Amazon’s knock-off of Android running on their Kindle Fire.

The Muntz: the ultimate in derision

Looking at my calendar, I think it’s about the time when Eric Schmidt predicted that developers would be writing for Android first and iOS second. While that laugher gets played out in tech circles – which is saying something considering any utterance from his Turrets-hole is accompanied by at least one person in the audience coughing “Bullshit!” – it’s nice to see that major developers are still writing for Android at all. Well, technically it is Android.

 Posted by at 12:57 pm
Jun 062012

IDC, like all analyst hacks that predict nonsense for the distant future, has released its latest brain-dump that portends a smartphone future dominated by Microsoft. In 2016. Brace yourselves:

Jimmy McNulty is skeptical of IDC's methodology

The wisdom behind the chart is as amusing as the chart itself:

Windows Phone7/Windows Mobile will gain share despite a slow start. Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile will be aided by Nokia’s strength in key emerging markets. IDC expects it to be the number 2 OS with more than 19% share in 2016, assuming Nokia’s foothold in emerging markets is maintained.

Relying on a dying manufacturer whose only current viable business is suing, Microsoft will catapult to the #2 spot. Let me play analyst for a second and make my own bold prediction for the 2016 market:

The true power of Symbian will be revealed in 2014, when the almost-dead OS activates its secret directive and becomes self-aware, allowing it to install itself on all mobile devices, as well as all PCs and any piece of consumer electronics with an operating system. By 2016, Symbian will make up 99.9% of all operating systems, leaving the .1% of humanity with jailbroken versions of iOS 9 as the only hope for mankind’s salvation.

Wow – being an analyst is fun.

 Posted by at 12:37 pm
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